Lagosuchus

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Lagosuchus
Temporal range: Middle Triassic, 236–234 Ma
Lagosuchus Talampayensis.png
Mounted skeleton
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Dinosauromorpha
Order: Lagosuchia
Bonaparte, 1975
Family: Lagosuchidae
Genus: Lagosuchus
Romer, 1971
Type species
Lagosuchus talampayensis

Lagosuchus is a genus of small archosaur from the middle Triassic period. It is generally thought to be closely related to dinosaurs, as a member of the Dinosauromorpha. Its fossils were found in the Chañares Formation of Argentina, the dating of which is uncertain; some sources date it to the Middle Triassic whilst others date it to the earliest Carnian.

Description

Artist's impressions and skeletal restoration

Lagosuchus is known from very incomplete remains (only a hind leg plus a shoulder blade and vertebrae can be definitely assigned to it). However, features of the leg show that it was a lightly built archosaur, and is notable for its long slender legs and well-developed feet - features it shares with certain dinosaurs. These features, as well as comparisons to close relatives, suggest that it could run on its hind legs for short periods, although it probably moved on all fours most of the time. Lagosuchus was likely an agile predator that could use speed to chase its prey and to escape larger predators.[1] Lagosuchus was about the size of a ferret.[2]

Lagosuchus is regarded by some to be dubious and the second species assigned to the genus, L. lilloensis, was reclassified as Marasuchus by Paul Sereno in 1994. Additionally, the dating of its formation is unclear; recent research dated the Chañares to the early Carnian stage of the Late Triassic.[3]

Palaeobiology

Metabolism

It is believed that Lagosuchus and Marasuchus were transitional between cold blooded reptiles and warm blooded dinosaurs.[4]

References

  1. ^ Palmer, D., ed. (1999). The Marshall Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals. London: Marshall Editions. p. 97. ISBN 1-84028-152-9.
  2. ^ Paul, Gregory (1988). Predatory dinosaurs of the world. Simon & Schuster.
  3. ^ Claudia A. Marsicano; Randall B. Irmis; Adriana C. Mancuso; Roland Mundil; Farid Chemale (2016). "The precise temporal calibration of dinosaur origins". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 113 (3): 509–513. doi:10.1073/pnas.1512541112. PMC 4725541. PMID 26644579.
  4. ^ Pontzer, Herman; Allen, Vivian; Hutchinson, John R. (2009). "Biomechanics of Running Indicates Endothermy in Bipedal Dinosaurs". PLoS ONE. 4 (12). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0007783. PMC 2772121. PMID 19911059.
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